As I type this, I'm in bed. Literally, in bed. I've been here all day.
Surgery recovery is a lonely business.
No one can really help.
My mother recently said to me that I am in "survival mode".
I laugh and joke when I can...and probably more when I shouldn't or when things are really bad.
I fire off a semi-interesting blog post or Facebook status and Voila! Everyone thinks I'm happy and that I'm all healed up and ready to take whatever they choose to dish out.
Yesterday, I saw a post on a blog called "Life With The Lyons",
In this post, the mom (mother lion) was defending her husband, apparently her husband has Chiari and/or related disorders and someone at their church offered comfort by saying to her, "At least it's not cancer." This Mama Lion was furious.
I don't blame her. I even applaud her. Good for her.
She made a quick list of things to NOT say.
Seriously, it's not that we are that difficult to deal with--we are just exhausted. Completely, totally exhausted. Our skin is not thick. We are FRAGILE.
Please, handle us with care.
As I type this, I'm in bed. Tears are literally pouring down my cheeks and my already sensitive vision is even more troublesome with the presence of these waterworks.
In the past two weeks, I've been pretty secluded.
My texts are brief and sometimes I don't answer phone calls.
I explain this to people and apologize for being light sensitive or feeling weird when I talk.
The usual response I get is no response or , "I won't bother you then" ( which they obviously mean because I don't hear back from them... EVER.)
I live where I know few people. I have only an occasional visitor even when times are great...
My "friends" all live far away and I greatly fear I have successfully eliminated them without purposing to do so.
One such person tells me I've built a wall around myself.
Thus, the tears.
I rush into the other room and bury my head in Bob's chest and he holds me as I pour out what a horrible person I've become and how everyone seems mad at me and how I can't help it and how I just need him to take care of me. I look at him, his kind eyes are tired. Now that my caregivers have both gone home, it's all on him and its too much. He is taking care of me as best he can. This is the third day with just the two of us and it's too much. He makes sure I eat and sleep and drink, he cares for the dogs, he goes to work, he listens to me whine and all I want is more.
I will my body to be more energetic and my head to not hurt and tears to not fall..and my body refuses to comply. Like a rebellious child stomping its feet, my sobs cause my head to throb, each beat of my heart causes pain in my head mixed with the pressure of crying and I'm nothing but a fragile mess.
So I retreat here to you-my blog- the place where I say what I want unashamedly and the blank page welcomes my words and my wounds. Here, I can dim the brightness, make mistakes, take breaks and no one is the wiser. There is no judgement here and no expectations. Crying is totally allowed and completely necessary. No one is telling me how busy they are or making excuses as to why they haven't called.
No one is making it my fault or making me feel guilty or making promises they don't intend to keep.
No one is telling me to be thankful it's not worse.
Here it is quietly welcoming and my soul is soothed as I once again talk myself down off a cliff, tears dwindle and the roller coaster slows to a stop.
My hand traces the incision on the back of my head and I am horrified and amazed at the reality that this has really happened. I had brain surgery-again. This is no walk in the park. It's okay to be however I am.
Maybe one day I will be able to explain that in a way that can be understood by everyone, not just the other people like me.
Pity is not what I want.
I need you to understand, I have changed.
I didn't quit loving you or being your friend.
It's just that now I am fragile.
Handle me with care.